The trip was beyond perfect thus far & I couldn’t imagine it getting any better! Boy was I wrong, words can not even express how wonderful the trip became…
Ru, our ranger & driver picked us up from the airport in our a decked out range rover – no doors & massive wheels! We were brought back to the camp, which is located in a private game reserve amidst the wild. Driving up to the camp we saw zebra, warthogs & giraffes – and once we got to the camp we met the trained elephants! YES, we fed & rode the elephants! We had a few interactions with these mammoths & now these beasts are one of my fave animals!
Our first meeting was with Jabulani, the main elephant at the camp – a very gentle animal, he even took my hat off my head as a joke! Once we got comfortable with the massive guy our ranger signaled for the rest of the trained elephants to join – over 10 adult elephants & 10 baby elephants, they were so cute! For our first elephant back safari Jon & I decided to ride together…with rangers on foot…guarding us with guns- HOW CRAZY! Our second elephant back safari Jon & I rode on separate elephants at night – literally pitch black in the wild! It was such an experience and the only elephant back safari in the world at night!
Our game drives were just as special, out & about for hours each day witnessing once & a lifetime events – elephants bathing, lion cubs cuddling & packs of buffalo, deer & wildebeests. Each evening ride ended with a ‘sundowner’ located in a random location to watch the sunset, sip champagne & munch on tasty treats.
The trained & wild animals were not the only wildlife we were able to come close with – at Camp Jabulani guests are treated to visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center located on the reserve. During our visit we were able to view a wild dog feeding & pet cheetahs – INSANE! I honestly thought I was going to faint when getting in the cage with 2 brother cheetahs, so scary!
As you can see, the elephants were only one of the many fabulous things at Camp Jabulani – the rooms were 5 star, the food was top of the line, the animal interactions were thrilling & the people, well we still email with them! Camp Jabulani is a once & a lifetime experience. If you are able to make your way to South Africa try to visit Camp Jabulani!